Justice requires a judge to defy popular perception: CJI Ramana by Somesh Vaidya @LexCliq

Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana stated on Saturday that a judge should never be influenced by public opinion and must stand up against popular perception for the sake of justice, recalling his constitutional oath.

Justice Ramana made these remarks when launching the live-streaming of the High Court of Gujarat’s sessions.

Concerning live broadcasting of court hearings, the CJI said that, although it is a step in the right direction, it must be approached with care. Live broadcasting of events may be a double-edged sword at times. The Judges may feel the strain of public scrutiny, which may result in a tense atmosphere that is not favourable to the administration of justice.

A Judge may become the topic of numerous arguments as his public profile grows, but this should never discourage him from his responsibility to defend the rights of one against the power of many. Always keep in mind that, as a repository of people’s faith, a judge cannot afford to lose objectivity, said Justice Ramana.

Concerning attorneys, the CJI said that they should not seek notoriety, but rather should make every effort to defend the best interests of their clients. They must constantly preserve and protect the profession’s dignity.

For a free and fair trial, the privacy of the parties involved, as well as the safety and security of the victims and witnesses, must be protected. It is critical to properly calibrate the Rules regulating such live-streaming while keeping conflicting interests in mind, he said.

“I am delighted that the High Court of Gujarat has taken the initiative to live broadcast court sessions and has institutionalised it via the enactment of regulations. The Committee, led by Justice (DY) Chandrachud, is doing an excellent job of getting all courts on board to unleash the transparency revolution with the use of contemporary technology,” remarked Justice Ramana.

“As I have stated earlier while launching the access of online proceedings of the Supreme Court to the media, we are keen to start live proceedings for at least some courts in the apex court. We are working out the logistics and taking the consensus of the full court. With the aid of modern technology, we will be introduce this live streaming feature in a cost-effective manner, without imposing much of a burden on the exchequer,” he added.

The virtual event was attended by Gujarat High Court Chief Justice Vikram Nath, Chairman of the Live Streaming Rules Committee and Gujarat High Court Judge Justice J.B. Pardiwala, as well as other Gujarat High Court Judges.

Written by Somesh Vaidya

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